The days are darker, colder, and shorter this time of year. So if you're still getting your outdoor workouts in, we seriously applaud you. But we'd also like you to stay, you know, alive — which, it turns out, is a bit more of a challenge during the winter. (And we're not just exaggerating about the cold.)
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 66,000 pedestrians were injured in car accidents, and almost 5,000 were killed in 2013. But nearly three-fourths of those fatalities occurred in dark conditions, rather than in daylight or at dusk. And from the months of December through February, deaths were most likely between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m. (our prime post-work fitness time).
The good news is that there is one easy way to make yourself more visible to drivers: by wearing bright and/or reflective clothing. Admittedly, the research isn't totally clear on how effective these things are when it comes to safety. For instance, a 2012 study of cyclists found that participants were no less likely to get into an accident when wearing high-visibility gear.
However, a recent Cochrane review of 42 studies did find that reflective materials made it much easier for drivers to see pedestrians and cyclists on the road. Whether or not that improvement actually translates to fewer injuries or deaths is still up for debate.
Still, we think the effort is more than worth it. Plus, plenty of companies have found some subtle ways of incorporating high-visibility material into their workout clothes. This means we're not talking about gaudy, bright colors or scratchy, reflective fabric, but instead details that shine just when you need them to. Click through to see 31 workout gear options that'll really help you stand out when it matters most.